The plastic casual furniture market landscape has changed again with the purchase of major producer Syroco Inc. of Peabody, Mass.
Fiskars Inc., a Madison, Wis., subsidiary of 350-year-old Fiskars Corp. of Helsinki, Finland, has acquired Syroco. The deal complements Fiskars broad line of consumer products distributed in North America.
Syroco's purchase was the fourth major transaction among North American and European plastic furniture manufacturers in about two years. Previous deals led U.S. Industries Inc., Rubbermaid Inc. and Sommer Allibert SA to exit the competitive furniture market.
Fiskars gets Syroco's main molding plant in Syracuse, N.Y.; manufacturing and distribution facilities in Siloam Springs, Ark., and Corona, Calif.; and Syroco's sales and marketing office in Peabody. Although casual furniture accounts for the bulk of Syroco's $90 million in annual sales, the firm also makes decorative wall accessories. It employs about 575 at its main plant in Syracuse, which officials expect to keep open.
Company officials could not be reached to confirm an Associated Press report that Fiskars paid $70 million for Syroco.
Fiskars products supplied in North America include plastic and other consumer products.
Syroco was briefly owned by Etex Group SA of Brussels, Belgium. Etex acquired Syroco as part of its purchase of Marley plc of Sevenoaks, England, late last year. Marley had acquired Syroco in 1995.
Last summer, Rubbermaid completely exited casual furniture when it sold its European operation to Euro United Corp. of Oakville, Ontario. Rubbermaid began its exodus in 1994 when it sold its outdoor-furniture business based in Stanley, N.C., to Sunbeam Corp. That business now is owned by U.S. Leisure of Alexandria, Ind.
In late 1997, Sommer Allibert SA, a major player based in Nanterre, France, sold its garden furniture operations to GLD of Grenoble, France.
Bemis Manufacturing Co. of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., is North America's other major furniture producer.